I’m what you would call a worrier. I worry about everything: money, career, family, friends, love. I even worry about worrying.

Last week I woke up late for a flight and worried all the way to the airport. Mind you, I had already checked in online and still got to LAX ninety minutes before my flight’s scheduled departure time. At first I worried that I wouldn’t find a spot at the airport garage. I did. Then I worried that our shuttle would wait forever before leaving. We took off less than five minutes after I boarded. Then I worried I wouldn’t have enough time to go through security and get my Starbucks. I had my iced venti nine-pump easy-ice chai latte in hand within fifteen minutes. Then I worried that I wouldn’t get a good seat on the plane or be able to sit next to my friend. I scored the aisle and Sarah was seated next to me moments later.

Needless to say, I worry a lot about nothing worth worrying about.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”  ~ Leo Buscaglia

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”  ~ E. Joseph Cossman

“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”  ~ Glenn Turner

Yeah, I get it. I see these handy dandy quotes all the time, but they never do me much good. I might stop worrying while I’m reading them, but then it’s out of sight, out of mind. Plus my mind is already too full of worrying.

So while in Chicago last weekend I had the chance to grab lunch with my father. Though he’s lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life, my dad doesn’t venture often into the city, and for those of you in the know, the ‘burbs are a far cry from the Loop.

To make it easier on him, I chose a restaurant just a block down from the hotel at which I was staying in Printer’s Row. Not a super busy neighborhood, and as luck would have it, we found a parking spot just twenty feet from the restaurant entrance. Doesn’t get any better than that. I checked the signs to make sure we were clear of street cleaning or zoning restrictions. All good. I then paid for two hours of parking and made sure our receipt was clearly displayed on the dashboard. All good. We proceeded inside to eat.

After grabbing a table and putting in our order, my dad and I began to discuss our usual topics: the weather and sports. That’s when mid-sentence he got up from the table and walked over to the front window of the restaurant. I watched in confusion as he casually peeked outside. Without saying a word, he then came back to the table and jumped right back into his summary of last’s week precipitation totals. I didn’t understand what had happened, but just chalked it up to my dad wanting to take in the beautiful Chicago scenery.

Five minutes later, he did it again. In the middle of my dissertation on why the Cubs need Theo Epstein, my dad got up from the table and once more looked out the front window. This time I had to know.

“Dad, what are you doing?”

“Just checking the car.”

“Checking the car for what?”

“Wanna make sure it’s not getting towed.”

I then experienced what Oprah calls an “Aha!” moment. There was absolutely no reason why my dad should have been worried. We were parking legally. We had paid the meter. Nothing was wrong. Yet my father could not stop worrying about his precious Ford Focus.

That’s when I began to worry… Whether we like it or not, we really do become our parents.

Image: farconville / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Responses to “Penny For Your Thoughts”

Ohmigod! I feel like I’m guest-starring in The Chicago Displacement!

You are SO like your dad, Anna (sweet and funny.) xoxo

October 6th, 2011

If I have it my way, you’ll be guest-starring in tcd for a long, long time to come! Thank you for the sweet note, honey. 🙂

October 6th, 2011

Ah yes, the Keizer Family worry gene, I know it well. And unfortunately, as a parent myself, I have to say it only gets worse.

However, I have found the good news to be that these worrisome genes are balanced out by all the Keizer Family smart, funny and good-looking genes! 🙂

October 8th, 2011

Not to mention our Keizer Family incredibly humble genes! Haha! 🙂

October 10th, 2011

I’m a worrier too. I try not to but I can’t help it.

October 11th, 2011

Do you worry about being a worrier? 😉

October 12th, 2011